Posted April 2, 2009 in Oxx Tales by Jim Markel
Red Oxx CEO Jim Markel packed his bags for a trip to Atlanta where he muses on how the color of your luggage can transform your travel state of mind. Let’s check in with him before his hectic schedule sends him off on his next trip to New York in Part 3, the next installment of "A Tale of Three Cities."
BOARDROOM CARRY-ON LUGGAGE SET ~ BUSINESS TRAVEL
Deciding on what color of luggage to take is sometimes just important as what to take. For my L.A. trip I’d taken a varied assortment of colors. Taking a fun color along can really signify what frame of mind you’re traveling in. I prefer the primary colors like blue and red for casual journeys.
The darker tones like Midnight blue and black are the most popular colors for business travel. With nearly our whole travel gear line available in 12 colors, you can mix and match or go with some pretty unorthodox business travel luggage if inclined. Cutting a cool look through the board room with a Saffron yellow briefcase is one way to get noticed for sure. Refitting for the Atlanta trip was going to be a breeze as I was currently running our three piece Boardroom carry-on luggage set all in red.
The Red Oxx Air Boss Carry-on Suitcase has been blazing a trail in the skies for a few years now and I still love traveling with this bag. Next to my trusty PR5 Safari Beano’s, this bag is my go-to bag.
My pack list was short but just enough to accomplish the events I scheduled. 2 sport coats, 4 dress shirts and 3 pairs of pants made up the majority. Fill the rest in with a Tri-fold Toiletry kit some night clothes and I was set. Next, I needed to combine my computer and a Nikon D300 into one of the CPA laptop Briefcases. Packing a couple extra Travel Trays and an assortment of Montana huckleberry chocolates as gifts, I was set to hit the wild blue yonder again.
Arriving in Atlanta on a cool beautiful sunny day was a nice change from the brisk Montana climate. The city cloaked in green with skyscrapers jutting through the breaks in the cover of a modern day jungle. Atlanta’s growth over the last twenty years has been simply astounding. The economic boom has transformed this southern belle into a sprawling metropolis.
My friend Bess Viau of Lilly Porter was having her jewelry designs included in a fashion show at the Tootsies in Buckhead. She’d just returned from fashion week in New York where her new designs were a big hit with the designers. Bess is one serious fashionista with a personal bag collection that would put a trophy collector to shame.
Of course her favorite travel bags are from Red Oxx, but when it comes to rolling down the fashion runway the Oxx has yet to make its debut. We tend to be a bit more on function side with our ladies purses. Plans are in the works to add more unique purse designs to our colorful travel bag line in the future.
Watching the gathering crowd of beautiful women I have to remind myself that I’m really working and not on vacation. Cue the music and the cat strut starts as the models come rolling out one after another.
By now the crowd’s sipped a little champagne and they’re into it as the ladies work the crowd with cool looks and a vicious walk. OK, they had my attention as the big rocks sparkled with that new diamond gleam. Trying to work the settings on my camera as the show rocked on I finally gave up and took in the spectacle. A drunken heiress was whispering a running commentary in my ear as I listened with rapt attention while she systematically called out the designer names and whether or not she cared for the outfit. Exactly 20 minutes later it was all over. As the crowd dispersed and got ready to head out on the town for a nightcap.
If you would’ve told me that I’d be sitting in the Ritz with 10 lovely women and one drag queen on a Friday night, well, I would’ve thought you’d totally lost your mind and really didn’t know me well. Taking it all in stride I’m having the time of my life as they fend off the men from the bar and crowd ever closer to me. Sometimes I have a way of getting in some tough situations!
Red Oxx as a fashion brand? Not so sure about that, but visiting this world has stoked my creative juices. Bess surprised me with a custom made Red Oxx buckle hand made by local artisan Jeff Mclaurin. I was so impressed with this work that we’ve contracted with him to fabricate a limited edition run of 86 pieces. This talented young man has brilliantly captured the essence of our logo with a piece that is simply fine art.
Earlier that day I met with the President of Black Powder Industries which is the parent company of our shoulder strap molding company. While Quake Industries is a Montana company they are held by a consortium with offices in Atlanta.
Getting out and into other businesses is a great way to learn about operations and visit other company cultures. It’s all well ‘n good to check out the front offices but the real action happens in the back warehouse. That’s where you can tell how things are running and maybe pick up a tip on efficiency.
Before long we were back in the office talking about marketing and web development. After half an hour I had to start all over as the president brought in the marketing director to hear about how Red Oxx has built a global brand on the Internet. The Claw Shoulder Strap has the potential to be retrofitted on any computer bag or piece of luggage out there.
Our strongest advocates are on the Internet. I explained our product growth has been more organic in nature. Finding the relevant site locations and product reviewers is what makes something credible out there on the World Wide Web.
Be sure to check in with Jim on his next trip when he ships off to the Big Apple and mixes business with pleasure in Part 3 of "A Tale of Three Cities – Developing Flexibility for Your Travel Style – Trains and Planes." There you’ll learn about the best luggage set for when you want to travel by plane or by train.